Music: The Tom Sawyer of Rock

"If people want to get stoned and trip out on acid or Jesus, that's their business. But if those things don't work, I've got something that will: love, appreciation and sincerity."

Can a performer who talks like that survive for even a minute in today's pop-music miasma of drugs, decadence and dowdy religiosity? If he is Singer-Composer John Denver, 29, the answer is yes. The possessor of long blond hair and a mellifluous, if reedy, tenor voice, the wearer of gold-rimmed glasses and neatly pressed shirts, Denver is the Tom Sawyer of rock—and he has acquired a vast following of Becky Thatchers...

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